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You know the saying “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away” but does it apply to dogs too? Absolutely! Not only can dogs eat apples, but their health will benefit from it too. However, you should always be cautious when it comes to dog nutrition. To make sure your canine friend has the best diet it can, we’ll tell you all about the pros and cons of feeding your dog apples, as well as the potential dangers to avoid.
Are apples good for dogs?
Cheap, low in calories and high in nutritional value, apples are a wonderful snack for your canine friends. Perfect as a treat or a reward for good behaviour, apples can improve your dog’s general health in many ways. Here are the main reasons why:
- Apples are packed with vitamins (A, C & K) making them a strong immune booster
- Apples are good for your dog’s bones due to the fact that they contain calcium and phosphorus
- Apples are high in fibre which makes them great for dog digestion
- Apples are low in protein which can be beneficial for elderly dogs or dogs on a low-fat, low-protein diet
- Apples are great for your dog’s dental health and hygiene (they even make their breath smell better!)
- Apples have antioxidants that improve joint health and may reduce the chances of cancer
With all that in mind, next time you are enjoying your favourite apple variety, you might want to share the joy with your four-legged buddy. Who knows, you might have found their new favourite treat!
How many apples can I feed my dog?
As healthy of a treat as the apple is, it still is a treat, so it should only be fed to dogs in moderation. To give you a rough idea, treats should make up not more than 10% of your pups’ daily calorie intake, so a slice or two of apple a day is a reasonable amount.
Too much apple can upset your dog’s stomach and cause diarrhoea. In addition to that, apples are high in sugar, so if you don’t control the quantity, you might cause your doggo to put on unwanted weight. Then you’ll find yourself looking for ways to help your dog lose weight.
In any case, introducing any new food, including apples, in your dog’s diet has to be done slowly and with caution. Some dogs are allergic to apples, so first, speak to your veterinarian to discuss if there are any reasons why you shouldn’t give your pet apples. Then, test how your pooch reacts to apples by starting with a very small amount and monitoring their behaviour for any allergy symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, difficulties breathing, swelling and hives. If you spot any of these, call your doctor immediately.
How to serve apples to dogs the right way
Apples should always be served to a dog sliced, in cubes or in chunks. How big or small the slices should be depends on the size of your dog. One is certain though, you should not feed your dog whole apples because the core of the apple can be a choking hazard.
The seed and the stems should be removed too, not only because they can also be a choking hazard but also because they contain traces of cyanide which is toxic to dogs. That being said, even if your dog eats an apple or two whole, with the seeds, the apple or the seeds won’t kill your dog. They may, however, make it feel ill and cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
It’s important to also wash and peel your apples before feeding them to your dog. The chemicals used by farmers and in supermarkets to make the apples look shiny and glossy are unhealthy for your pup (and you for that matter). Dogs can eat apples with the skin and a couple of slices of unpeeled apple are unlikely to cause a problem but as always - the more of it the dog eats, the more likely it is to cause digestive problems.
How about apple-based products?
Applesauce, canned apples and any other products containing apples usually have added sugar, which is bad for dogs, so it’s best to avoid these. Too much sugar can cause obesity and diabetes in some canines.
Also, let’s not forget that some human food is poisonous to dogs. Apple-based products made for humans may contain artificial sweeteners such as xylitol which can kill a dog if ingested. Therefore, as with all other fruits dogs can eat, it’s best to stick to fresh apples, preferably organic ones, as they are less likely to have been treated with harmful chemicals.
Have you heard about our wonky apples?
Hey, did you know that at Bug Bakes, we add apples and other wonky fruit and vegetables to our nutritionally complete dog food? Made of ethically farmed insects, our hypoallergenic, cold-pressed food is protein-rich and has all the nutrients your pooch needs for a healthy diet. We care about the environment too - we sell our dog food in plastic-free bags and we support the Bumblebee Conservation Trust with every bag we send your way.
Want to give Bug Bakes (as seen on Dragon’s Den) a try? Get your delicious taster pack today.